Samoa sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens says Alatasi Tupou made a mistake but will be considered for selection again once he has served his suspension.

The 30-year-old was sent home from the World Series tournament in London last week after being charged with drink driving in Samoa.

Sir Gordon Tietjens said it was a big blow to lose their captain and influential playmaker for the final two rounds of the World Series.

“I mean I felt for Alatasi. People during life make mistakes and he’s made a mistake and he’s very remorseful about that but he’s also given a hell of a lot of service and good service to Samoan rugby over a number of years and certainly if he had some regrets that would be one of them,” he said.

“Of course he’s gone back and he’s serving his suspension and at that he’ll be available for selection [in time for the World Cup in July].”

Samoa finished a disappointing 13th in London but Sir Gordon said fortunately they haven’t needed to call in any replacement players.

“We always bring over 14 players now because generally you lose one somewhere along the way so you’re not having to fly someone cross the other side of the world to link in with the squad,” he said.

“So we’ve got 13 players here – the 13 that played in the tournament – so we’re fortunate in a sense that we haven’t had to fly anyone over so we should be all fully fit and ready to go.”

Alatasi Tupou is scheduled to appear in court on June 19, while Samoa are in a tough pool with New Zealand, Kenya and Fiji at this weekend’s final World Series leg in Paris.

 

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